–by Mary Helen Darah
PUBLICATION DATE: 11.15.16
For 85 years, the ladies of the ProMedica Flower Hospital Guild have been quietly going about their business of helping the community. It is apropos that the PFH Guild currently has 85 members as it celebrated its 85th year of service on Nov. 1, 2016, with a luncheon at ProMedica Flower Hospital. The organization honored its members, past presidents and those in the community who have supported their efforts.
Sonya Garcia, PHF Guild member and Flower Hospital Gift Shop manager, feels being part of the PFH Guild has connected her to the community. “I think back of when I have been in need,” she recalled. “I was thankful for someone being there. I’m a single mom and was fortunate to have the help of my parents. Not everyone has that. Being a Guild member is a way to pay it forward.”
Karen Jenkins is the current PFH Guild president but is familiar with the duties it entails. This is her third term as president during her 18 years in the PHF Guild and has been a volunteer for ProMedica Flower Hospital for 33 years. She believes that the most rewarding thing about membership is the satisfaction of having an impact on her community. “We support over 22 organizations with their fundraising efforts including Sylvania Area Family Services, Make A Wish and The Victory Center,” Jenkins noted. “We also paid for the atrium and a treatment room in the Hickman Cancer Center, and we just finished 250 fleece wraps for the hospital’s geriatric patients.”
Diana Randolph, first vice president of the PFH Guild, fondly remembers attending Guild meetings with her mom. “I started coming with her,” she recalled. “She paid my membership dues. I started coming more. My Mom, who once served as president of the Guild, was a great mentor. Thanks to her influence, I serve the community.”
The PFH Guild received the “Stevens Warren Flower Award” in 2008 for their $2.1 million of support. Since that time, they have contributed over $200,000 to bettering their community. The Guild’s major source of funds is through the PFH Gift Shop, located on the ground of ProMedica Flower Hospital. All proceeds are donated to their community projects and to assist local nonprofits and the hospital. The Guild Gift Shop has a paid manager, three contingent employees and 25 volunteers. “Funds from the gift shop have provided everything from endowment scholarships to white dry erase boards in patients’ rooms. We try to choose things that will directly help the people in our community,” Garcia said.
The PFH Guild meets once a month on the first Tuesday of the month. The group usually has a guest speaker or entertainment. Guild members are looking forward to being entertained by singers from the Sylvania Senior Center during their December meeting. The group consists of an eclectic group of women ranging in age from 44 to 94. One of the two 94-year-old members still drives herself to the meetings. Membership is open to everyone.
“Today people seem to want to volunteer for a day or for a specific event,” stated Garcia. “It’s tough to commit to something with longevity, but it’s so worth it.” President Karen Jenkins agrees. “We are not a fancy bunch,” she stated. “We all fit together. We all pitch in. We don’t ask for pats on the back. We just get the work done.” Randolph sums it up best. She stated, “We do what we can to provide the ‘warm fuzzies’ for the hospital and for our community. I just know that the Guild will keep giving for decades to come.”
For information on becoming a PFH Guild member, contact Sonya Garcia at: 419/824-1200.